LIFE SEPOSSO - Supporting Environmental governance for the POSidonia oceanica Sustainable transplanting Operations

LIFE16 GIE/IT/000761

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Contact details:

Contact person: Barbara La Porta
Tel: 390650073298
Email: lifeseposso@isprambiente.it

Project description:


During the last century, the rapid and powerful anthropic process that occurred along the European coastline significantly altered its natural features, with serious consequences on the marine environment, which is characterised by some of the most sensitive marine ecosystems such as the Posidonia oceanica meadows (a priority habitat under the Habitats Directive). It is well-known that these meadows now suffer significant regression around the Mediterranean basin especially near major urbanised centres. This is also the case in Italy where P. oceanica covers most of the Tyrrhenian, Ionian, and south-western Adriatic Sea. This regression can generally be attributed to mechanical impacts and/or increased water turbidity following poor coastline management. Among other anthropogenic pressures, P. oceanica is affected by the construction of coastal infrastructures such as ports, installation of cables, pipelines and coastal defence barriers. All of these result in the removal of portions of the meadows causing fragmentation and habitat loss.


The goal of the LIFE SEPOSSO project is to carry out activities (in compliance with the 2015 European Directive on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and the 2014 Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) Directive) that support the restoration of P. oceanica meadows that have been destroyed by infrastructural marine works, using in particular information systems and information tools. The main objective of the project is to create an electronic information system to measure and evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the inspection and surveillance works related to EIA prescriptions. This includes the transplanting of P. oceanica as a alternative method for meadows restoration, given that in Italy specific EIA procedures have identified transplanting as the best measure available for restoring destroyed meadows.

In general, for a sustainable use of marine resources based on an ecosystem approach, the implementation of MSP requires a strong interaction with the 2001 Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and EIA Directives. The acquisition and organisation of data needs to be planned and carried out at every single level.

Transplanting should not encourage indiscriminate overexploitation of the coasts. To ensure this doesn’t happen, specific planning coupled with effective monitoring tools need to be provided. It is also essential to promote knowledge and awareness of this issue among the different stakeholders to better manage the different phases of the process.

In addition, the project will optimise the dissemination of the inspection and surveillance results through training courses and the publication of both technical/scientific manuals and popular science documents. By better communicating the results of its work, the project aims to promote knowledge and awareness of the issue as well as to generate public and stakeholder support of EU policy on P. oceanica protection and management.

Expected results: The main outcomes of the project are the following:

  • A synthesis of all Italian legislation relating to Posidonia transplanting, identifying the relevant stakeholders and related conflicts, and providing a more sustainable integrated process for the efficiency and effectiveness of EIA procedures;
  • Increased awareness among 150 stakeholders and target audience;
  • Assessment of all EIA infrastructural projects and analysis of 20 procedures from the IDEA database;
  • The performance of existing transplanting techniques measured, producing quantitative/qualitative data in four different sites;
  • Optimal monitoring strategies identified and field data collected to set a starting point for future monitoring;
  • Collection of new data in at least four stands per site and the assessment of at least three different transplantation techniques;
  • A Posidonia Transplanting Web Platform (PTWP) as an intuitive and user-friendly instrument to increase efficiency in planning, control and communication;
  • Authorisation of 150 user accounts and data analysis in PTWP;
  • Transfer of the projects’ results and their replication at national and European level to reach a critical mass during and after the project (50 stakeholders engaged);
  • 18 public bodies empowered with mandatory management and control of transplanting;
  • Dissemination of information on quality, relevance and effectiveness using different dissemination tools.



Environmental issues addressed:


Habitats - Marine
Information - Governance - Improved legislative compliance and enforcement


ecological assessment‚  introduction of plant species‚  marine conservation area‚  marine ecosystem‚  environmental impact assessment‚  restoration measure

Target EU Legislation

  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directiv ...
  • COM(2011) 244 final “Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 ...
  • Marine environment and Coasts
  • Directive 2008/56 - Framework for community action in the field of marine environmental policy (M ...
  • COM(2013)133 - “Proposal for a Directive establishing a framework for maritime spatial planning a ...
  • Environmental management & assessment
  • Directive 2001/42 - Assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment ...
  • Directive 2011/92 on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the ...

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator ISPRA - Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale
Type of organisation Research institution
Description The Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e Ricerca Ambientale (ISPRA) was founded in 2008 to replace the former agency for environmental protection and the national institute for wildlife. ISPRA carries out research and implements environmental monitoring programmes
Partners Department of Biology, 'Tor Vergata' University of Rome, Italy Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Italy VESENDA s.r.l., Italy University of Palermo, Italy Autorità Portuale di Piombino, Italy SETIN srl, Italy Agenzia Regionale per la Protezione Ambientale della Toscana, Italy


Project reference LIFE16 GIE/IT/000761
Duration 01-OCT-2017 to 30-SEP -2020
Total budget 1,951,272.00 €
EU contribution 1,169,460.00 €
Project location Toscana(Italia) Lazio(Italia) Campania(Italia) Sicilia(Italia)


Read more:

Project web site Project's website
Project web site - 2 Project's Twitter page
Project web site - 2 Project's Facebook page
Publication: Management plan "Piano di comunicazione: Supporting Environmental ...
Video link "POSIDONIA OCEANICA: Let's take care of it" [EN - 1'20]
Video link Project's video [IT - 3'43]


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version